Hastinapura (the city of elephants), was ruled by king Dhritarashtra whose title was that of a caretaker-king since the real ruler was Pandu, his brother. Dhritarashtra was blind. Kauravas were Dhritarashtra‘s children. Pandavas were Pandu‘s children.
Dhritarashtra‘s wife Gandhari, a short woman, the mother of the Kauravas, was said to have lived always blind folding herself, since she, as a dutiful wife, didn’t want to have anything that her blind husband wasn’t capable of.
Bhishma the defacto grandfather figure of the Kauravas and Pandavas was another imposing figure in the palace. Please note that, Bhishma was not the biological grandfather. Bhishma, though, a rightful heir to the kingdom, is said to have remained always a celibate, just because he wowed to do so to please his father once.
Another prominent character in the palace was Vidura, a step brother of Dhritarashtra and Pandu. As a man well versed in the scriptures, he always gave moral and strategic guidance to Dhritarashtra in various matters. Since his mother was a low caste woman, he could never rule the kingdom, instead of the blind king.
Another important character, is sage Vyasa or Krishna-Dwaipayana, the author of the story. While Bhishma was the defacto grandfather, Vyasa, the author, was the biological grandfather of the Pandavas and Kauravas. Being a sage, he lives in the forest and makes occasional self-referential appearances in the story.
Dhritarashtra, the blind king of Hastinapura, with Gandhari and other lower caste wives had numerous sons. They were commonly called the Kauravas. The eldest of the Kauravas was called Duryodhana. The second eldest was Dushasana. Dhritarashtra also had one daughter, called Dussala.